Lahore court allows police to take PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry to Islamabad

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A court in Lahore allowed the police on Wednesday to take PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry to Islamabad, hours after he was arrested from outside his residence for “inciting violence against a constitutional institution”.

An FIR against him was registered at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station by an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for “threatening” the body’s members.

According to Fawad’s brother, the former federal minister was “taken away” in four cars that did not have any number plates at 5:30am. Faisal Chaudhry said that the family was unaware of Fawad’s location at the time.

“We are also not being given any details of the FIR registered against him,” he said. Faisal, who is also a prominent lawyer, termed his brother’s arrest “illegal” and asserted that he will fight this battle in court.

At 10am, Fawad was brought to Lahore’s Cantt court by officials of the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department and police. Upon his entrance, PTI lawyers showered rose petals on Fawad.

Talking to the media outside the court, Fawad said that those who arrested him should be ashamed of themselves.

“They have deployed so much police as if they are escorting James Bond,” he said, adding that the police kept him in the “category of terrorists”.

As the hearing began, the investigating officer requested the court to grant Islamabad police the PTI leader’s transit remand.

For his part, Fawad asked the judge to provide him with a copy of the FIR registered against him. He went on to say that he was proud of the charges against him. “These allegations were also levelled at Nelson Mandela.”

“It is being said that I have committed sedition ” I am a former Supreme Court lawyer and federal minister ” I should be treated with respect,” he told the court.

The PTI leader said that the way he was arrested was “inappropriate”. “Had they called me, I would have come myself.”

Commenting on his remarks against the ECP, he said that “the entire country is saying the same”.

Meanwhile, Fawad’s lawyer said a habeas corpus petition — a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention — filed by Fawad was pending in the Lahore High Court. “Until a decision is taken on that, a transit remand can’t be granted.”

Here, the judicial magistrate instructed the police to conduct a medical examination of Fawad at the Lahore Services Hospital and present him before a court in Islamabad today.